You are here

Winners of the Global Development Awards Competition 2021

File photo, GDN Awards 2016


The Global Development Awards Competition 2021 took place on 22 & 25 October 2021 as part of the Global Development Conference 2021 titled Evidence for Development | What Works Global Summit 2021. 

“We are very proud that the Global Development Awards and Medals have been promoting research and building networks among researchers especially young researchers in developing countries,” says Mr Masashi Tanabe, Director of the Multilateral Development Bank Division, Ministry of Finance, Japan, in his opening remarks. The Competition is generously funded by the Ministry of Finance, Government of Japan since 2000, and since 2011 thanks to the Policy and Human Resources Development (PHRD) Fund administered by the World Bank.

Twelve finalists across four award categories, spanning both development projects and development research, competed for top prizes to scale up and further their work as development practitioners and researchers worldwide. As part of the proceedings, former award grantees from over the years were invited to give their testimonies on the awards.


“Opportunity is precisely the word that symbolises what GDN is all about opportunities for researchers in the developing world to open new paths in their careers and opportunities to strengthen research capacity in low- and middle-income countries,” says Jaime Saavedra, Director of Education Global Practice at the World Bank and winner of the Japanese Award for Outstanding Research on Development 2002.

And, here are the winners:

Japanese Award for Most Innovative Development Project (Universal Health Coverage and COVID)



     Kids Home Development Network Foundation

Project: Access to Healthcare for Migrant Families in Thai Construction Site Camps


Project: Hello Saathi



United Way of Mumbai

Project: Establishing Infection Prevention & Control Mechanism in Public Hospitals


Japanese Award for Most Innovative Development Project (Community-driven, Climate-related, Disaster Risk-reduction in Rural Areas)




International Aid Services Kenya

Project: Capacity building of local community against climate change and improved livelihood

CII Foundation

Project: Cleaner Air Better Life - Crop Residue Management



Dufatanye Organization

Project: Expansion of Villages of Hope in Two Villages in Nyanza District


Japanese Award for Most Innovative Development Project (Quality Urban Infrastructure and Community-driven Governance)




Save the Children India

Project: Dream Accelerator

International Transformation Foundation

Project: A Water Kiosk at School - Karugia Secondary School



Clean Up Nepal

Project: Expansion Nepal Waste Map: Community-empowered Governance


Japanese Award for Outstanding Research on Development




Abdul-Hanan Abdallah, University for Development Studies

Research proposal: Implication of Large-scale Agricultural Investment on Biodiversity - Evidence from Mixed-Method Study of Farm Households in Northern Ghana



Roger Merino, Universidad del Pacifico - Research Center (CIUP)

Research proposal: Global Amazon - Harmonizing Development Visions and Multi-scalar Interventions in the Building of a Pluriversal Governance



Chukwuka Onyekwena, Centre for the Study of the Economies of Africa (CSEA)

Research proposal: Evaluation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) on Africa’s Biodiversity


Our gratitude

The Global Development Awards Competition (GDAC) has been running since 2000. These awards would not be possible without the generous funding of the Ministry of Finance, Government of Japan and the kind support of the Policy and Human Resources Development Fund, World Bank. Our gratitude goes out to you on behalf of GDN and all former GDAC grantees.


“I want to express our gratitude to the Government of Japan, which has been very visionary in the early 2000s. This was one of the first efforts to promote research in developing countries, while most development research had been conducted in developed countries,” said Pierre Jacquet, President of the Global Development Network.


Finally, we would like to send our sincere appreciation to all members of the jury for each of the four awards given out this year. Thank you for your kind contribution!